Changes to NHS urgent care services announced

NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has announced that North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will deliver urgent care services across Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees in alliance with Hartlepool and Stockton Health (the local GP Federation) and the North East Ambulance Service, following a formal bidding process. The decision was made by the CCGs Governing Body on 15 November 2016.

This decision follows lengthy engagement with local people to understand what they think of urgent care services and what can be done to improve them.

From April 1 2017 there will be a new integrated urgent care service delivered across two sites, University Hospital of North Tees and University Hospital of Hartlepool. The new integrated urgent care service will be a GP led, urgent care service, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It will include GP out of hour’s services (where patients can see a GP for urgent care needs on evenings and weekends) and minor injuries. These appointments are available by calling 111.

Ali Wilson, Chief Officer, NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said, “We look forward to working with the trust and partner organisations to deliver a new model of local urgent care starting on April 1st 2017.

Improving patient outcomes and experience is very important to us as clinical commissioners. Patients told us that whilst their experience of urgent care was on the whole positive accessing the right care at the right time is confusing. This has in some cases led to patients having unnecessary waits in the Emergency Department when they could have been treated for their urgent need in a more effective way. We have listened to public feedback and have simplified the service to make sure patients receive the right care, at the right time and by the right people. We believe the changes we have made will help us to achieve that and improve patient experience.”

Speaking on behalf of the alliance, Alan Foster, chief executive at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: “This is a very exciting development for the trust and we look forward to working together with partner organisations, the local GP Federation (Hartlepool and Stockton Health) and the North East Ambulance Service, to provide this facility in Stockton and Hartlepool, which will be a huge benefit to all patients.

“Services will be aligned in a much closer way, ensuring that patients are seen by the right person in the right place.”

From 1 April 2017 patients will continue to access their own GP practice in exactly the same way as they do now. After hours (6.30pm), at weekends or Bank Holidays, call NHS 111 for free, 24/7 365 days of the year for urgent care, or you can walk into the new service and receive an appointment.

There will be a publicity campaign between now and 1 April 2017 to ensure local people are informed about how current services will change as the new services are put in place.

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